Leading With Change + Innovation

Keynote Speaker. Bestselling Author. Strategic Consultant.

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“If you really want to know about business, you should refer to Scott Steinberg.” -Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Kids and Social Networks: Top Concerns

Take it from leading social media speakers: Despite what you may have heard in the press, social networks like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter aren’t bad for kids – like any other form of technology, essentially a neutral tool, it’s all in how you use them. Nor can teachers and parents simply afford to dismiss them: For today’s high-tech children, these online community and sharing solutions have become near ubiquitous.

Thankfully, integrating social media into classroom or home life doesn’t have to be a difficult process, as long as you keep the following hints, tips and advice, courtesy of your favorite social media speaker, in mind.

Common Mistakes Made on Social Networks

Social networks can be a tremendously enjoyable, positive and uplifting way to connect with individuals from all places, backgrounds and walks of life. The key to using them safely is to avoid making several common mistakes, including the following:

  • Failure to Control Privacy Settings – The first thing you or kids should always do after signing up for these services: Set privacy controls so you can determine who sees information that is being broadcasted.
  • Befriending Strangers – If your kids don’t know someone in real-life, it’s best to avoid making the connection online, and potentially inadvertently sharing private information with them – make sure they don’t feel obligated to accept all friend requests.
  • Oversharing of Information – Personal details (age, address, birthday, hometown, when you’ll be away on vacation, etc.) should be kept private – be wary of what your kids post online, as anyone could be watching.
  • Inappropriate Postings – It should be assumed that anything your kids post can and will be seen the world at large. Before sharing controversial, questionable or embarrassing information or multimedia, think hard and remind them to ask themselves: Would I feel comfortable if employers, college recruiters or my grandmother read this? If not, don’t click that mouse.
  • Unlimited Access for Apps and Games Thousands of free apps and games can be played via social networks. However, many may want to track location info, automatically post on your Timeline, or offer access to paid in-app purchases – be careful to configure settings so as not to compromise their privacy, or present potential problems.

Like any social media speaker can explain, parents and teachers concerned that children are connecting to social networks needn’t be afraid, so long as proper rules of behavior, conduct and digital citizenship are observed. Who kids are interacting with, how they’re doing so and when is far more important than the simple fact that they’re utilizing Facebook or similar services.

Educate your students or family about online safety, make an active commitment to learning about new features, and keep abreast of kids’ usage habits, and you’ll have infinitely less to fear about technology.

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